ANVIL's STEVE 'LIPS' KUDLOW: 'I've Finally Started Making A Living At A Point When Most At My Age Are Packing It In'
October 28, 2017
Cat Unwrapped of the "Collision" radio show on Australia's Voice FM recently conducted an interview with frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how the success of the 2008 film "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil" has enabled Kudlow to "live his dream" as a full-time musician:
Lips: "It's not about making a million bucks; it's about making a living. [Laughs] Completely. It's all on its own now. No more deliveries, no more construction work, no more nothing. Just rock and roll."
On the band's jam-packed upcoming tour schedule in celebration of their fortieth anniversary:
Lips: "It's not just the next few months, it goes into next year. Probably, to tell you the truth, we'll probably be closing it up in a year from now to do more writing."
On the band being more selective with the producers they choose to work with:
Lips: "It's made a huge difference, actually. We were talking about that earlier today. That's actually made more of a difference to our musical career than anything else. In the sense that when you have a producer, at least your songs are given a proper opportunity to flourish. When you do it yourself, it's very detrimental in many different ways because there's so much more that can be explored that you're not even aware of. And, it's not just technically, but it's even arrangement-wise."
On maintaining a sense of optimism:
Lips: "I'm still experiencing many things for the first time. So, no, it's quite remarkable, really. [ANVIL's music] is optimistic. Because there's a tomorrow and there's something to look forward to and something to work for. That's really ultimately what it's all about and having something to do and something that's meaningful to your own life, no matter what that might be. Finding fulfillment, happiness. It's a big one. I mean, when you do what you love, you're at a huge advantage because it never feels like work. So for me, at this point, I feel like as though I've retired because I don't do physical labor anymore. I feel as though I've retired into another job but it doesn't feel like a job because I'm doing what I love. It's quite a remarkable place to be, especially at my age. As [AC/DC guitarist] Angus [Young] is faced with having to retire because everyone in the band has dropped away, I'm going the opposite direction. It just started to happen for me. I'm in a race against time, I've only got a certain amount of time left. That's the unfortunate aspect. I've finally dug in and [started] making a living at a point when most at my age are packing it in. It's kind of interesting."
On the band's energetic live shows and whether they are influenced by the punk scene:
Lips: "You have to have some kind of presentation. If you don't have that, you're roasted. You could say that [there is a punk influence]. It's non-conformist for sure. Let's put it this way: I can probably relate more to [GREEN DAY's] Billie Joe Armstrong easier than I can to Rob Halford from JUDAS PRIEST. Let's put it that way. I would have to say I'm more into the other way than the other. [Laughs] I don't know. That's just the best way to explain it. One is more earth-bound; the other seems to be more 'put me on a pedestal.' It's two different attitudes. It's not to say one is better than the other. All I'm saying is where I feel I belong, or where I feel I am."
On what ANVIL does to make ends meet:
Lips: "In today's market, there is no choice but to work hard. That's the only way a band can make money today is going on the road and selling their t-shirts and merchandise, whatever that might be, whether it's little devil horns or t-shirts, if you understand what I mean. That's how you make ends meet today. In order to move the size of shows that some of these big, monster shows, you got two crews, two sets of semi-trailers and everything that goes with it, so you're running a massive, massive industry. So, every show, the promoter basically pays for your expenses to get there, but then it's up to you to make your merchandise and how well you play and how well you play reflects in how many people buy your t-shirts and your devil horns and your wristbands and whatever else you might sell. It's a changed industry, the music industry today. This is what it has turned into and that's what it is."
ANVIL will release their new album, "Pounding The Pavement", on January 19, 2018 via SPV/Steamhammer as a digipak version (including one bonus track and poster),two-LP gatefold colored version, digital download and stream. The disc was produced at the Soundlodge studios in Rhauderfehn in the northwest of Germany.